J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 79:318-320 doi:10.1136/jnnp.2007.118810
  • Short report

Incidence of Guillain–Barré syndrome in Alberta, Canada: an administrative data study

  1. L J Hauck,
  2. C White,
  3. T E Feasby,
  4. D W Zochodne,
  5. L W Svenson,
  6. M D Hill
  1. Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  1. Michael D Hill, Associate Professor, Calgary Stroke Program, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, University of Calgary, Foothills Hospital, Rm 1162, 1403 29th Street NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 2T9, Canada; michael.hill{at}
  • Received 19 February 2007
  • Revised 28 May 2007
  • Accepted 20 June 2007
  • Published Online First 26 June 2007


Background: To examine the epidemiology of Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) in Alberta between 1994 and 2004 with data derived from hospital administration procedures.

Methods: Data from 3 959 857 individuals (1 956 841 females and 2 003 016 males) aged 1–110 years and residing in Alberta, Canada, were included in the analysis. A Poisson regression analysis was performed to determine the predictors of GBS events.

Results: After age and sex standardisation to the 2001 Canadian census population, incidence rates ranged from 0.97 to 2.32 per 100 000 over the course of the 11-year period, with a mean incidence of 1.6 per 100 000. Significant effects of gender, age group and year were found. Males were found to be 1.5 times more likely to acquire GBS than females. Relative to those in their first decade, the risk of acquiring GBS increased with advancing age, whereby the incidence in males peaked in the 7th decade of life and in females in the 8th decade of life. The incidence fluctuated over the 11-year period, with a minimum in 1998 and a maximum in 2004.

Conclusions: The incidence of GBS in Alberta between 1994 and 2004 fluctuated within a narrow range, was similar to that previously reported worldwide, demonstrated a male preponderance and increased in elderly patients.


  • Competing interests: None.

  • Funding: This project was funded in part by a grant from Alberta Health and Wellness.

  • Statement of Authorship: LJH, MDH and LWS designed the study and carried out the analysis. LJH and MDH wrote the first draft of the manuscript. TEF, CW and DWZ provided important contextual input into the analysis and its interpretation. All authors edited and approved the final manuscript.

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